Sunday 11th February 2018, 3.25pm (day 2,362)
The weather remains glorious (sarcasm warning), thus provoking a wilfully uneventful weekend. The Mediterranean food stall at the Sunday market does its best in very non-Mediterranean conditions.
A day spent entirely at or in the vicinity of home was never going to be easy photographically, so let’s pick up some more of HB’s amusing graffiti to epitomise the day. Plenty of post-processing was needed to bring out the blue of the spray paint. But if only I could add the missing apostrophe without feeling like a total pedant.
China Lane, Manchester, was until relatively recently part of the old warehouse district. However, due to its proximity to Piccadilly station, in the 21st century it has become full of apartbouhotiques and bars where you can buy £7 glasses of Lithuanian stout with plates of felched scallop on the side. But at least there are still places to sleep.
I will start moving around the planet again at some point but for now I’m where I’ve been most of the last two and a half months, namely at home in Hebden Bridge, which can be littered with interminably extended building projects just the same as Manchester can. The building that used to be the “Hole In The Wall” pub has been belching rubble over the street outside for what seems like about three years now. I actually saw someone working there today — but that is a rarity.
A good view, but a precarious spot to be perched on this Friday morning. How do scaffolders have the confidence to get up there and be active when (to my mind) the whole edifice looks about to topple over to the right and crash him down from forty feet up in the air? The whole thing, put up this morning, had come down again just after lunch, so I hope it was worth it.
Since early December there has been a whole new version of our train service, extending — at least on paper — to Oxford Road station. This all makes my life mildly more convenient coming home on an afternoon, as long as I can bugger off no later than 4pm; in the morning it makes no difference at all, being quicker to walk between the two stations. For this, your friendly government magnanimously spent £85m on the Ordsall Chord development. Well, I’m sure it’s all part of some bigger plan somewhere. After all, it would be terrible to think that the people in charge of the country’s finances didn’t actually have a clue.
Tory cuts notwithstanding there remains a decent municipal waste tip a couple of miles away and even if you can’t drive to that the council will pick up this kind of thing from your house. So, sorry, but what’s the fucking point in dumping a broken chair by the side of the river, in a now-inaccessible but visible and central spot, where it will presumably sit for several months? Mucky bloody bastards. I hate this kind of neglect. I could say it’s a middle-aged thing but actually I’ve always hated it.
On this day last year I was on my way to Moscow (at 5.20am) whereas five years ago today I was in Nairobi having a rather good cup of coffee. No similar travels this January however. Got to look around the local neighbourhood for inspiration: lousy weather makes even hiking off the agenda. Consider the smudge on the lens artistic license.